Ahoy!

Today’s project was Navy themed cupcakes for a coworker’s son.  She wanted cupcakes with anchors on them.

I can’t draw.  Even my stick figures are crappy looking.

Despite my faith in my total inability to draw an anchor that actually LOOKS like an anchor, I took the order.  I have a little trick.  It involves clip art, waxed paper and melted chocolate.

I went into MS Word and found a clip art anchor that I liked the look of, then filled the page with it.  When I was ready to make the anchors, I put a piece of wax paper over the sheet with the pictures then traced the shapes of the anchors in melted chocolate that I had placed in a pastry bag with a small round tip.

This technique not only results in cupcake decorations that are edible and (in my case) identifiable, it also ensures uniformity in size.

Anchors aweigh!

Navy Cupcakes 1

Navy Cupcakes 2

Navy Cupcakes 3

Navy Cupcakes 4

 

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Par-tee!

I don’t really understand golf.  I mean, I get the general concept – get the ball in the hole in as few swings (strokes?) as possible – but I don’t get why anyone bothers.  It’s so boring.  And watching it?  I’d rather be eating cupcakes, even if they are golf themed…

Golf Cupcakes 1

Golf Cupcakes 2

These were for a 50th birthday in my office.  I piped on the grass using a Wilton #233 tip.  The “golf balls” are mini-gumballs, and the flags are made from coffee stirrers, paper and tape.  I figure since they were for a coworker, that it was okay for me to make the flags while I was AT work, right? 😉

I Enjoy Being A Girl?

I am definitely not a “girly” type of female.

I prefer jeans and sneakers to skirts and high heels.  I have never (nor will I ever) worn a pair of stilettos.  Your feet really aren’t meant to do that.

I would rather watch hockey than Dancing With the Stars.  I was going to make NHL jersey cookies during the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.  I had the cookies baked and everything, but I was too busy watching hockey to decorate them.

Me with Lord Stanley, many moons ago…

I’m not a fan of pink.  I don’t scream at the sight of mice or spiders.  I don’t get manicures unless I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding.  I don’t spaz out when people bring their babies in to work.

I wasn’t even very girly when I was a little girl.  Take my Barbie dolls for example.  Yes, I had Barbies.  No, they did not go shopping or go to fancy dances or get married to the perfectly coiffed Ken dolls.  Barbie drowned in the Barbie pool.  She hung herself from the second story of the Barbie house.  Barbie fell to her death out the third story window of my actual house.

Barbie muerta
Barbie muerta (Photo credit: nicoventurelli)

Remember the Heart Family (Mommy, Daddy and two little toddlers – one boy, one girl) and the Heart Family car?  They didn’t go for leisurely rides to the zoo.  The Heart Family car was a plastic deathtrap on wheels hurtling down the stairs from my attic bedroom, smashing into the wall at the landing and sending Mr. and Mrs. Heart and their progeny flying in all directions.

The Heart Family - Kisses & Cuddles
The Heart Family – Kisses & Cuddles (Photo credit: Freddycat1)

I did have a heart shaped pillow with a picture of Dylan from 90210 (the ORIGINAL!!) on it and I like my cocktails sweet and fruity, so the girly-girl is somewhere there inside me – she just doesn’t come out that often.

I Love Dylan
I Love Dylan (Photo credit: emilydickinsonridesabmx)

Given all this, you can see why I would be amused by the fact that I have made not one, not two, but THREE girly baked treats in the past four days.

First up… Wedding Cake Cookies!  A coworker’s daughter is getting married next weekend and she asked that I make cookies to put in the gift baskets she is making for their out of town guests.

Next, I attempted to make some hydrangea cupcakes I saw on Pinterest.  For a tutorial on how to make these yourself, go here!  These were to celebrate the birthday of one of my friends at work on Monday.  They came out pretty good.  When I was taking the photos my camera was choosing the flower macro setting, so at least I had Canon fooled.

Last but not least are the teapot cookies I made for my friend’s daughter’s Princess Tea Party 6th birthday shindig this weekend.

Okay, I’m gonna go blow up a Barbie doll or something…

Action Barbie
Action Barbie (Photo credit: SamJUK)

Foghat, Thunderbirds and a First Birthday

In January my friend’s son had his first birthday.  I made the cake, cupcakes and cookie favors.  I will share some pics of those with you shortly, but first some other firsts…

The first time I laid eyes on my all time favorite stuffed animal, my Bedtime Bear Care Bear..

Can you see the love?

I was 4.  I am now 32. I cannot sleep without that bear under my arm.

My first time operating heavy machinery…

My first pet, our dog Britt…

He was awesome.  He loved pizza crusts.  He would beg for one, we would oblige, he would run with it into another room and then run back to beg for another.  We figured he was scarfing them down but he was actually depositing them into a pile behind my dad’s recliner.

My first car was a 1986 Ford Thunderbird.  For some reason it was dubbed the Thunderchicken.  For some other reason, I don’t seem to have any pictures of it.

My first concert…No, it wasn’t New Kids on the Block or Debbie Gibson (although my first ever perfume was Electric Youth).  My first concert was the WDRE Fest – June 2, 1996.  Here was the lineup: No Doubt, 311, Filter, Toadies, Cracker, Fishbone, Gravity Kills, The Nixons, God Lives Underwater and Spin Doctors.  I’d say that was a damn good first concert.  My first “classic rock” show (At the time, this referenced music from the 60’s and 70’s.  Apparently now classic rock includes bands that I grew up listening to, like Bon Jovi, which means I am officially old)  followed two months later.

I was sixteen and I went with my mom.  The bands were Iron Butterfly and Foghat.  I watched women with a good ten years on my mother, women who looked like they could have been my teachers at school, screaming like teenagers and rushing the stage trying to grab the drummer from Foghat’s ass.  It was a good time.

The first time I was a bridesmaid (sharing this one because I LOVED my hair!)…

First time I ever saw the Pacific Ocean…

There are some firsts that thankfully went undocumented… The first time I threw up from drinking too much (Mad Dog 20/20 Orange – it will never again pass my lips),  the first time I was called Ma’am, the first (and only) time I watched the movie Twilight (I still have nightmares about the bad acting…”Your hand, it’s so cold!”).

Then there was the little man’s first birthday.  It was my first time making a crown shaped cake!  They had chosen a prince theme so I also made cupcakes with blue chocolate crowns on top and of course, I made #1 cookies.

AJ has many, many firsts ahead and despite my ever advancing age, hopefully I do too!

Lego My Organic Waffle

So tonight I was sitting around making myself hungry watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives.  I wandered into the kitchen in search of something tasty for dinner and for some reason decided to make waffles.  Not just any old waffles though – organic blueberry waffles.  Sounded wholesome, smelled great heating up in my toaster, tasted…like cardboard.  I didn’t think it was possible to mess up a frozen waffle.  I was wrong. I won’t name names, but this was just not right.

Back in front of the TV, completely unfulfilled and Guy Fieri is mocking me with some delicious looking pizzas.  I think about the crummy, disappointing waffles.  Then I think “leggo my Eggo!” which then reminds of LEGOS which leads me to today’s post.  LEGO Man cookies!!

My coworker was having a LEGO themed birthday party for her son and she asked me to make cookies for favors.  We decided on a cookie in the shape of the LEGO Man’s head, and chocolate LEGO bricks.  I found a LEGO shaped chocolate mold on eBay (what CAN’T you find on eBay?! ((oh yeah, you can’t find a LEGO Man head shaped cookie cutter, so I made a template out of a coffee can lid using this template from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle))

Here are my cookies, lined up and ready to decorate.

I knew I wanted a smoother finish on these cookies than I had on my angel cookies so I Googled how to decorate cookies with royal icing.  The short version is that you make the royal icing per the recipe, outline the cookies, then water down the icing to a very runny consistency which you then use to “flood” the cookie.  The outline can be done in the same color you will be using to flood, or it can be done in a different color.  For the look I wanted, I went with black (more on THAT disaster after the pictures!) then flooded with yellow.

 (note my handy mustard squeezy bottle – perfect for dispensing runny icing!)

You may be thinking to yourself, “What disaster?  They look pretty damn good!”  Just as I learned tonight that the word ORGANIC in relation to waffles really means DRYWALL, on that night I learned that it is really hard to make icing black.  I knew that it wouldn’t be as simple as mixing some black gel color into the white icing (because black + white = gray) so I also Googled how to deal with that ahead of time.  All I had to do was make a different color first – blue,brown, dark green, mix of everything?! – and THEN add the black.  Well, I tried that and got gray.  I had also read to try adding cocoa powder so I dumped some of that in there with a little more black gel color.  STILL gray. Finally in desperation I mixed in ALL of the black gel color I had.  Black icing accomplished!!!!

So I outlined and flooded and let them dry overnight, then I piped on the faces the next day.

Once they were dry I started bagging them up with my chocolate LEGO blocks…

….only to discover that apparently dumping an entire pot of black gel color (along with other colors and cocoa powder) into your royal icing can really dry it out.  : /  The faces on my poor LEGO Men started flaking off!!!  I packed them up as carefully as possible, boxed them, took them in to my coworker, apologized and told her not to move the damn things until she was ready to give them away.  Luckily they survived the trip and she was really happy with them (at least that’s what she told me!).  I had two coworkers who saw them ask if they were supposed to be computers, so it would seem that there are people who actually have never seen LEGOs before – who knew?

Anyway, I hope that someone out there can learn from my mistakes.  Organic Blueberry Waffles suck, and don’t over-color your royal icing.  I have since read that Americolor Super Black gel paste does the trick, and I have a bottle of it just waiting to be used next week when I attempt to make Pot of Gold cookies for St. Patrick’s Day!  Stay tuned…

Totally Awesome 80’s Party and Pac-Man Cookies!

A.  Being a child of the 80’s I have a special place in my heart for hair bands, jelly shoes, and all things neon.

B.  I love theme parties.

A + B = C (aka Totally Awesome 80’s Party!!)

A few years ago I decided to throw an 80’s themed party.  I spent hours surfing the internet for ideas for decorations, food, drinks and the perfectly tacky 80’s outfit.  One of the food ideas I came across would become my first attempt at making decorated sugar cookie cutouts – Pac-Man Cookies!!

The cookies themselves were simple enough to make.  I needed three mini cookie cutters – tulip, a circle and a heart.  Flip the tulip upside down and you have a ghost (or to be more specific, a Pinky, Blinky, Inky or Clyde).  The circle makes the Pac-Man, and the pointy end of the heart can be used to cut a wedge out for Pac-Man’s mouth.  They baked up perfectly!

Next step was to ice the cookies.  This ended up being a little messy (remember, I said this was my FIRST attempt!!).  The icing recipe I ended up using was more like a glaze and my application method involved a spoon, a toothpick and some foul language.  Despite the cursing and the dripping icing, my finished product was pretty cute and VERY tasty.

(a mini chocolate chip placed in a small dot of white icing from a tube makes the eyeballs)

The cookies were a hit, as were the drinks!  I made a pitcher of Electric Smurf and a pitcher of Slimer’s Ecto Cooler, both which fit my 80’s theme in name AND color.  Just in case that wasn’t enough sugar I also had a table filled with candy from my childhood.  That’s right people, I found RAZZLES!!

I set up a playlist of all the greatest hits of the 80’s, covered my walls with 80’s posters and my couches with He-Man sheets, scrounged up an Alf hand puppet, and also had an 80’s game table!

I put a ton of work into my 80’s theme party and for the most part it was in fact, Totally Awesome!  One note of caution – it seems that when you throw a party that reminds people of their childhood/teenage years there is a greatly increased likelihood of people actually acting like children.  That is a story for a whole different blog though… : )

Oh, and that perfectly tacky 80’s outfit??